Leafy greens high in vitamin C such as parsley, kale, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, and, also, mustard greens are essential food for cavies.
Whenever is the season, and is available in the stores, I give mustard greens regularly to my guinea pigs. They surely enjoy it! It is also beneficial for them as it contains a variety of nutrients, including vitamin C and calcium. During the season of this vegetable you can feed it to them every day.
Are Mustard Greens Good for Guinea Pigs? | Health Benefits
- Mustard greens are low in calories and low in fat.
- Mustard greens have a high carbohydrate and protein content, providing energy for the entire day.
- This vegetable has fibers that improve digestion and bowel movements. In a moderate amount, the benefits are great. But in excess, it can cause loose stool, so serve as advised.
- With a low amount of fat and zero cholesterol, the heart and blood vessels of the cavy will be in good health. There will be less risk of hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and all heart-related problems of this kind.
- Vitamin C prevents the guinea pigs from scurvy.
- Mustard greens include vitamin A, which helps to maintain the health of the internal organs as well as the eyesight and skin. It boosts the body’s overall immunity.
- The B6 vitamin found in mustard greens will make your guinea pig less stressed. It will enhance its sleep and increase the happy hormone serotonin.
- The blood will be healthy because of the iron in these greens. Additionally, the magnesium in the green will promote muscular strength and wellness.
Nutrition Facts of Mustard Greens
These are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of mustard greens:
- Low in calories – 26 calories. This means the mustard greens will not affect the weight of your guinea pig, so there is no risk of obesity.
- Carbs and proteins – 4.9 g of carbs and 2.7 g of proteins. Proteins and carbs are the most important energy sources to ingest on a daily basis. With a good amount of carbs and proteins, the guinea pig will have energy and warmth throughout the day.
- Fibers – 3.3 g. The fibers are essential for good digestion and regular bowel emptying. Without fibers, there is indigestion or constipation.
- Very low in fat – 0.2 g. With a low-fat content, there is less chance of obesity, blood vessels are unclogged, and the cardiovascular system is much healthier.
- Low in sugar – 1.6 g. This amount of sugar is not excessive, but it requires some caution. Sugar is poorly digested by guinea pigs, causing stomach distress.
- Vitamin A – 210%. Vitamin A is the strongest and best antioxidant. It maintains good health in all organs, including the kidneys, heart, eyes, skin, and lungs.
- Vitamin C – 117%. Vitamin C is a crucial thing for guinea pigs and without it, they can’t survive.
- Vitamin E – 10%. Vitamin E keeps the skin healthy and all skin tissues safe from skin diseases. It contributes to slower aging and prevents the skin from cancer.
- Vitamin K – 622%. Vitamin K is very important for healthy blood clotting. In the case of certain injuries, blood clotting prevents the loss of too much blood.
- Vitamin B6 – 9%. The B6 vitamin is the most important vitamin for producing serotonin, the hormone of happiness and good mood. With this, sleep is improved at night.
- Calcium – 10%. Calcium is a crucial mineral for the bones and for forming strong bone tissues. It helps the guinea pigs in development but once a guinea pig is fully grown, this mineral is damaging their health. It can gather in their system as excess deposits and it can cause urinary complications.
- Magnesium – 8%. A mineral that lessens muscle aches and keeps the heart muscle strong.
- Iron – 8%. A compound that prevents anemia and strengthens the blood.
- Cholesterol – Zero cholesterol in mustard greens.
Can Mustard Greens be Bad for Guinea Pigs? | Possible Risks
When you feed your guinea pigs mustard greens in excess of their servings, they can develop urinary problems. It will create bladder or kidney stones. Bladder stones can have a major impact on your pets’ health if they are not cured. Symptoms of bladder stones include appetite and weight loss, and painful and bloody urination.
Serving and Frequency of Mustard Greens for Guinea Pigs
Since mustard greens contain calcium, you should pay attention to the servings and frequency of servings. The safest option is to feed the cavy this veggie 1-2 times per week. A whole leaf or half a leaf is a good serving size. On the other hand, you may offer leaves once or twice a week to a baby guinea pig who is 6 months old or less since they can take more calcium than adult guinea pigs.
Quick Facts on Mustard Greens
- Other names for this veggie are Xiu Cai, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Mustard, Kyona, Leaf Mustard, and California Peppergrass.
- This veggie was included in Italian recipes dating back to the 14th century!
- It was mostly cultivated in Japan in ancient times.
- The origins of this veggie date back to India, over 5,000 years ago.
- The term ‘mustard greens’ comes from the specific taste just like the condiment mustard!
We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your guinea pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
List of Sources
A Care Guide for Your Guinea Pig (Cavia Porcellus)
How to Care For Your Pet Guinea Pig
The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig